High intensity rain triggers flooding in parts of Aceh, Central Kalimantan

first_imgHeavy rain has caused flooding in parts of Aceh and Central Kalimantan, affecting hundreds of households and forcing residents to seek shelter.Floodwater inundated at least 2,000 houses in Pidie Jaya regency of Aceh on Tuesday evening.The floods hit at least eight subdistricts in two districts of the regency with the water level reaching up to 120 centimeters, according to the Pidie Jaya Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPDB). The affected subdistricts are Mns Mancang, Pante Beureunee, Blang Cut, Dayah Husen, Dayah Kruet and Beuringen in Meurah Dua district; as well as the subdistricts of Mesjid Tuha and Mns Lhok in Meureudu district.  “The flood, triggered by high-intensity rain, also inundated five prayer rooms and three schools. We have not yet received reports on any casualties from the incident,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Agus Wibowo said in a statement on Wednesday.He further said that the fast-response team of the Pidie Jaya BPBD had coordinated with relevant offices to provide food for the affected residents.The floods had not yet receded as of Wednesday morning, he added.Floodwater also inundated several subdistricts in North Barito regency, Central Kalimantan. Three flood-hit subdistricts are located in Lahei district and two are located in Central Teweh district. Agus said in a separate statement that floodwater had started to inundate the areas on Wednesday morning following heavy rain early in the morning. The flooding was due to overflow from neighboring Murung Raya regency.The North Barito BPBD was still gathering data on the impacted areas and number of residents affected, Agus said. He added that most of the residents had evacuated to the houses of relatives and neighbors.The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) predicted that some regions in Indonesia would be hit by heavy rain caused by the transitional period from the rainy season to the dry season in Indonesia.”Heavy rain with thunderstorms will happen in the week ahead,” the acting Meteorology Deputy Herizal said on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com, recommending that residents be prepared for disasters that might come with heavy rain – floods, landslides and storms.Topics :last_img read more

Afghanistan arrests regional Islamic State leader

first_imgOn Monday, there were four roadside blasts in the capital which wounded four civilians, including a child, according to Kabul’s police. No group immediately claimed responsibility.Clashes in eastern Laghman province between security forces and the Taliban killed six security force members and wounded five, according to Haroon Yousufzai, a local military spokesman. The ministry of defense said the Taliban also suffered heavy casualties.The Afghan government and foreign powers including the United States have been calling on the group to reduce violence, saying it is hindering progress on moving towards formal peace talks. Afghan security forces arrested three senior South Asia Islamic State members including the group’s regional leader, the government said on Monday.The militant group’s head of South Asia, Abu Omar Khorasani, was arrested in Kabul alongside the group’s spy chief and public relations officer, the General Directorate of National Security (NDS) and Interior Ministry said in a statement.”NDS will continue its comprehensive and targeted operations to hunt down senior leaders of regional terrorist groups and destroy the joint hubs of these terrorist networks,” the statement said. South Asia Islamic State is mainly focused on a small presence in Afghanistan, largely in the north, though it has waged high profile attacks further south in the capital.Afghan security forces arrested eight members of a network grouping Islamic State and Haqqani militants responsible for bloody attacks in the capital including on Sikh worshippers, the country’s security agency said last Wednesday.The ongoing violence underscored the challenges to securing lasting peace in Afghanistan even after the United States signed a troop withdrawal agreement with the militant Taliban in February.The Taliban, which says it opposes the Islamic State and has fought the group, has since held off on large-scale attacks on foreign forces or in major centers, though it has continued attacking Afghan security forces throughout the provinces.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Bali governor closes beaches a day after reopening for foreign surfers

first_imgBali Governor I Wayan Koster has said he would revoke Badung Tourism Agency’s decision to reopen two beaches in Badung regency for foreign surfers.”I’ll inform the head of [Badung] tourism agency that we haven’t reopened our tourism yet. I disagree [with the reopening] and the decision should be annulled,” Koster said on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.Koster said he had issued a circular that regulates the closure of tourist destinations in Bali until further notice and he had not yet revoked it.”We had instructed to close tourist attractions through a circular and we have not reopened them yet,” he said.On Monday, Badung Tourism Agency opened access to two beaches in Badung regency, Canggu Beach and Labuan Sait beach, for foreign surfers.Read also: Hotels in Bali brace for travel-restriction relaxation, ‘new normal’The agency head, I Made Badra, said the beaches were still off limits to domestic tourists and non-surfers.”The foreign surfers are stressed-out after staying indoors for three months, so we gave them a little leniency as long as they follow health protocols,” Badra said. “[Before entering the beaches], they had to be examined in Balawista posts and by the [COVID-19] task force of the two villages where the beaches are located.”He also said that all foreign surfers were required to wear face masks.”We’ll check the temperature of each visitor, those who have a high temperature will be taken to the nearest community health center [Puskesmas] immediately,” Badra said.As of Monday, Bali recorded 482 cases of COVID-19 with five fatalities and 334 recoveries. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Commuters return to public transport with more protective gear

first_imgShe was anxious about the risk of contagion on public transportation.The 40-year-old contract employee of a ministry decided to wear a pair of fabric gloves during her commute in addition to a face mask.“Because I have children at home — one of whom is a toddler,” she said. “That’s why I am more prepared when boarding the train.”State-owned commuter line operator PT KCI made it a requirement for passengers to wear face masks inside the station and on the train when the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were first imposed in April. Passengers not wearing a mask will be prohibited from using their services. Fabric gloves and other protective gear for passengers are optional. This article is part of The Jakarta Post’s “Forging the New Norm” special coverage series on how people are forging their lives anew to adjust to the new realities of COVID-19 in Indonesia.As the Jakarta administration gradually eases COVID-19 social restrictions and reopens certain business sectors, people are preparing themselves for a safe commute on public transit.Triastuti boarded a commuter line train to her office in Jakarta for the first time last Thursday after two months working remotely from her house in Tigaraksa, Banten. “I wear [fabric gloves] so that I do not come into direct contact with surfaces. Many people may have touched, for instance, handrails. Who knows, they might be carrying the disease,” Triastuti said.The Jakarta administration began loosening restrictions last Friday by allowing houses of worship to reopen, while offices and shops resumed operation at half capacity on Monday. The reopening has caused a surge of passengers at several commuter line stations during rush hours, according to local media reports.Read also: Bustling Jakarta returns with vengeance as lockdown easesTo cope with the increasing number of passengers, KCI, Transjakarta, as well as the MRT and LRT have now extended operational hours and the number of trips.Besides continuing to enforce mandatory mask-wearing on public transit, the commuter line operator is also introducing additional health protocols in its facilities, including a ban on elderly people boarding trains during rush hours and a blanket ban on infants. All rail operators are advising passengers on trains to avoid talking directly with fellow passengers or making phone calls on the grounds that the virus spreads through droplets. The number of passengers allowed to enter each car is also limited.Floribertus Oni, 54, a private employee who cannot afford to work from home during the pandemic, has long been alarmed by the risk of contagion on mass transit.Oni works in a logistics and transportation company in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, one of the essential sectors allowed to remain operational during the PSBB and the city’s current transition to a “new normal”.He always wore a mask when commuting from Serpong in South Tangerang, Banten, to his office in the past two months. But as he observed the number of commuter line passengers increasing day by day after the Idul Fitri holiday in late May, he said he would consider wearing more protection.“I do not think it is necessary for now. But at some point in the near future, wearing a face shield and gloves will be necessary,” Oni said. “Many passengers will cram into the train, even the security might find it difficult to control the situation.”Transportation experts were cautious about the potential surge in the use of private vehicles, particularly motorcycles, after Jakarta relaxed restrictions, as people feared getting infected while using public transportation.Read also: No odd-even policy yet during transition period, Anies saysBut commuting by motorcycle is not an option for Triastuti, who must travel over 35 kilometers from her house to her office in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.Oni, meanwhile, cited high fuel prices and exhausting driving as reasons why he did not drive his car to work.Theresia Ajun, 54, has seen a face shield as mandatory for commuting in the past month. “I feel something is missing if I only wear a face mask. I have to be more cautious because of my age. I am in the age group vulnerable to COVID-19.”Before the pandemic, Theresia commuted around three times a week from Maja in Banten to Grogol Petamburan in West Jakarta to take care of her grandchildren. When the outbreak hit the country, she reduced the frequency of her visits to once a week.Read also: Curbing transmission on public transport not as simple as banning passengers: ExpertsAs cities began gradually easing restrictions, she said she hoped all commuters would implement health protocols as mandated by public transport operators.Around 3.2 million Greater Jakarta residents are commuters, according to the 2019 Greater Jakarta Commuter Survey by Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Of that figure, 2.5 million are office workers who commute daily.Some urbanites such as Fitra Andika, 33, prefer commuting to work by bike to avoid possible crowds when using public transit. Fitra had relied on the Transjakarta buses before the outbreak hit Indonesia. His employer is implementing temporary work shifts to prevent contagion.Deddy Herlambang from Transportation Study Institute (INSTRAN) said traffic congestion, air pollution and the traffic accident rate would worsen if not addressed properly. “Unlike during the previous phases of PSBB, congestion might now return to the city roads, thus worsening air pollution. [Exposure to air pollution] would weaken people’s immunity.”Jakarta has long struggled with traffic congestion, with private vehicles making up over 70 percent of vehicle use in the city. Many believe this has contributed to the dirty air in the capital.Deddy suggested that public transportation operators improve hygiene and deploy more workers across the transit networks to report overcrowding and assist passengers in applying physical distancing in order to lure people back to public transit, at the same time protecting them from the disease.Topics :last_img read more

Astra Agro Lestari pays $6.76m in dividends despite declining revenue

first_img“The drop in CPO [crude palm oil] price throughout 2019 has affected the company’s performance,” said Astra Agro president director Santosa in a statement on Wednesday after holding an annual shareholders meeting.The company, which manages 286,877 hectares of palm oil plantation in three provinces, reported it had faced difficulties last year as the CPO price had fallen to a record low of $497 per ton at the start of the second half of the year.Last year’s prolonged dry season and the El Nino climate phenomenon had also affected the company’s output.However, the recent spike in the CPO price and the government’s mandatory B30 blended biodiesel program has restored the company’s optimism. Read also: Coronavirus drags down commodity prices as demand from China dropsAstra Agro booked Rp 371.06 billion in revenue in the January to March period, a dramatic 892 percent increase year-on-year.“The positive performance in the first quarter of 2020 is evidence of our operational excellence and cost efficiency,” Santosa said.In the first quarter of the year, the company’s production of fresh fruit brunches dropped 8.5 percent to 1.1 million tons, while its CPO production decreased 14.6 percent to 354 tons due to unfavorable weather conditions. It, however, managed to raise its olein output by around 21 percent to 101,100 tons.“The weather affected the production of fresh fruit brunches in the first quarter of the year,” said Santosa.While many non-essential businesses were temporarily shut down, Astra Agro Lestari continued its plantation and factory operations according to COVID-19 protocols. Only its office employees have worked from home since March in compliance with stay-at-home orders.“We have developed a digitization program over the past three years so it is not difficult to  operate the plantation amid this pandemic,” said Santosa.Read also: Indonesia’s palm oil exports drop 19% in first two monthsDuring the shareholders meeting, the company also made a change in leadership. Johannes Loman, who currently serves as a director at conglomerate PT Astra International, replaced Djony Bunarto Tjondro as a commissioner at Astra Agro. Ari Dono Sukmanto, a former acting National Police chief between late October and early November, joined the board as an independent commissioner.Shares of Astra Agro, traded on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with the code AALI, dropped 3.37 percent on Wednesday while the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) fell 2.27 percent. The stocks have lost more than 17 percent of their value in the last year, Bloomberg data show.Topics : Publicly listed palm oil company PT Astra Agro Lestari announced Wednesday that it would spend 45 percent of last year’s profit, around Rp 94.95 billion (US$6.76 million) in dividends, rewarding its shareholders despite declining productivity.The company, which is a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate PT Astra International, will pay a lower dividend per share of Rp 49 compared to Rp 336 in 2019 as its revenue fell 8.5 percent to Rp 17.45 trillion last year.Read also: Astra steps on the brakes as car demand crasheslast_img read more

Car Free Day to return Sunday for outdoor exercise only

first_img“That is why [during CFD] next week, the entire street will be set aside for cyclists, joggers and pedestrians,” he said.Anies himself was seen riding a bicycle on Sunday morning alongside Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria at the Bundaran HI traffic circle in Central Jakarta.While he is yet to give further details on what activities will be permitted for CFD during the transition phase out of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), Anies has declared that street vendors will be prohibited from selling food and goods during the weekly event.”We will not yet allow street vendors to operate during CFD because it has the potential to gather crowds,” he said.Read also: More than public space, Car Free Day serves as arena to voice political dissentUnder normal circumstances, street vendors are allowed to operate in the designated green zones of Jl. Karet Pasar Baru, Jl. Galunggung, Jl. Blora, Jl. Purworejo, Jl. Sumenep, Jl. Pamekasan, Jl. Teluk Betung, Jl. Kebon Kacang and Jl. Sunda during CFD. Anies has decided to extend the PSBB period until the end of June and has said the capital is entering a transition phase in which restrictions will be gradually eased in different sectors after reports that the daily reproduction number (Rt) of COVID-19 had decreased below one.Meanwhile, according to official figures, Jakarta recorded 117 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the capital to 8,978. Jakarta has also recorded 555 fatalities thus far. (trn)Topics : The Jakarta administration is set to resume the weekly Car Free Day (CFD) on Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin this coming Sunday, but activities will be restricted to bicycle riding and outdoor exercise, with street vendors prohibited from operating.”We will resume the Car Free Day next week for exercise only,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Sunday.The weekly event has been suspended since March 15 as part of the city administration’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Many Jakartans take advantage of the car-free thoroughfares every Sunday from 6 a.m to 11 a.m to exercise, jog and ride bicycles, or simply to enjoy street food and walking with friends and family.With the capital starting to ease its COVID-19 restrictions, the Jakarta Transportation Agency set up pop-up bike lanes along Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin on Sunday for the many residents taking up cycling to commute and exercise during the so-called “new normal” period.Read also: Jakartans turn to bicycles to commute in ‘new normal’”We designated one lane specifically for bicycles. However, the cyclists exceeded the capacity of the lane,” Anies said.last_img read more

​​​​​​​Government critic Ravio Patra questioned in WhatsApp hacking case

first_imgThe coalition has urged the police to drop the incitement charge against Ravio, restore his good name and return his belongings that had been confiscated by the police.Ravio is an independent researcher known to be critical of the government, including its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.On April 22, a message calling for nationwide looting on April 30 was spread from Ravio’s WhatsApp account. Labor groups had previously said they would hold a massive protest against the omnibus bill on job creation on April 30 despite the health crisis.Shortly after, Ravio was taken into custody with the police reportedly arresting him without a warrant. Many believe that Ravio is innocent and a victim of identity theft.Topics : Ravio provided some evidence, including screenshots of communications with several parties related to the case. Other evidence was under the control of investigators, the coalition said.“[We] appreciate the follow up to the report, but we urge the police to continue the investigation into the case and find out who the hackers were and who ordered the hacking,” the coalition said in a statement on Thursday.Read also: ‘I was kidnapped’: Govt critic Ravio Patra files pretrial motion against policeThe members of the coalition include the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Amnesty International Indonesia and the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (IJCR). The Jakarta Police’s cyber unit questioned government critic Ravio Patra on Thursday about the alleged hacking of his WhatsApp account after he was charged for incitement after a message was sent from his number on April 22 calling for nationwide riots.The questioning was a preliminary investigation and a follow up to a cybercrime report filed by Ravio on April 27 regarding the hacking, in accordance with articles 30 and 46 of the 2016 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.Accompanied by his legal team from a coalition of human rights groups, Ravio was questioned for approximately four hours about the chronology of events, damages he had suffered, potential witnesses and supporting evidence.last_img read more

Beijing can screen almost 1 million people daily for coronavirus: Official

first_imgThe Chinese capital is capable of screening almost 1 million people a day for the coronavirus, an official said on Sunday, as testing continued across the city to try to contain the spread of a fresh outbreak.Beijing has been expanding testing in the city of 20 million since a cluster of infections linked to a food wholesale market erupted over a week ago.The outbreak, the first in Beijing in months, has now surpassed previous peak numbers in the city in early February. Testing was initially focused on people who worked or shopped at the Xinfadi market or lived nearby but it has been expanded to include residents in many other parts of the city as well as food and parcel delivery workers.Since the new outbreak, capacity has more than doubled to more than 230,000 tests daily at 124 institutions, Gao Xiaojun, spokesman for the Beijing Health Commission, told a press briefing.The tests are done on samples collected from multiple people in one test tube, meaning the city can get results from almost 1 million people daily, he added.The same pooling of samples was also carried out in Wuhan last month to quickly ramp up daily testing capacity after a cluster of new cases there raised worries about a second wave of infections.Gao also said that provinces including Hubei and Liaoning had sent about 200 people to Beijing to boost staff in laboratories, further helping to increase testing capacity. Topics :last_img read more

Half of Chinese-Canadians say targets of COVID-19 discrimination: Poll

first_imgAnd 61 percent said they changed their daily routines to avoid run-ins and harassment, while just over half fear their children will be bullied over the COVID-19 outbreak when they return to school.The survey of 516 Chinese-Canadians, conducted in partnership with the University of Alberta in Edmonton, found that half have been called names or insulted in recent months.Forty-three percent further reported being threatened or intimidated.Three in 10 also said they were frequently exposed to racist graffiti or messaging on social media, or were made to feel as though they posed a threat to others’ health and safety. Half of Chinese-Canadians say they have been targets of racial slurs and other discriminatory behavior since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll released Monday.Attacks, threats and graffiti directed at people of Chinese descent since the pandemic was declared amount to a “shadow pandemic,” the Angus Reid Institute said in a statement.It has left many feeling dejected, believing that their compatriots do not view them as “fully Canadian,” the polling firm said. Topics :center_img More than 1.7 million Canadians or five percent of the population are of Chinese descent. Among those who responded to the June 15 to 18 online survey, 44 percent were born in Canada, while 22 percent immigrated from Hong Kong or mainland China.More than 100,000 cases of new coronavirus have been reported in Canada since mid-March, including nearly 8,500 deaths.Canada is closely influenced by media and social trends in the neighboring United States, where Asian-American health care workers, for example, have reported a rise in bigoted incidents, according to The Washington Post.President Donald Trump blames the crisis on China and for a long time insisted on calling the sickness the “Chinese virus,” a term which he repeated at a rally on Saturday, when he also called it “kung flu.”last_img read more

Pertamina to drill up to 180,000 bpd from Rokan oil block after takeover

first_img“At this time, we are collaborating closely with SKK Migas to prepare the technical implementation,” a CPI spokeswoman told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.“We are grateful for the government’s direction and initiative to provide solutions to invest to optimize national oil production,” she added.SKK Migas had previously ordered Chevron to drill 11 new oil wells in November this year. The new wells are expected to boost block output by 3,000 bopd, prior to the takeover.Despite being one of the country’s most celebrated blocks,  Rokan block’s output has steadily declined over the past few years due to the natural exhaustion of reserves.The government expects nationalizing the block to maintain production levels, which saw a landmark decline of 9.2 percent year-on-year to 190,131 bopd in 2019. Prior to 2019, the oil block was the country’s most productive.Topics : He went on to say that PHE, a subsidiary of state-owned oil giant Pertamina, would continually drill new wells in the aging Rokan block in pushing production up to 200,000 bopd. He did not mention a timeline.The block yielded 190,131 bopd last year under the helm of PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI), a subsidiary of one of the world’s biggest oil companies, Chevron.Pertamina will be taking over the 50-year-old block, which is the country’s second-most productive oil block, from CPI next year, when the latter company’s permit is slated to expire.Pertamina, Chevron and the Indonesian government, through the Upstream Oil and Gas Special Regulatory Taskforce (SKK Migas), have formed a steering committee to ensure Rokan’s smooth takeover, defined as one without a sharp drop in output. Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE) aims to produce between 170,000 and 180,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from the celebrated Rokan block in Riau once it takes the block over next year.PHE president director Budiman Pahursip said on Wednesday the company aimed to maintain such output levels by drilling new oil wells starting “the first day” of the takeover, which is on Aug. 8, 2021.“This is important during a takeover to ensure production does not drop sharply,” he said during a webinar hosted by extractive industry watchdog Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia.last_img read more